Rocket-propelled grenade fired at embassy compound in Libyan capital

The embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Tripoli was attacked early Thursday. Ismail Zitouny / Reuters

TRIPOLI - A rocket-propelled grenade was fired at an embassy compound in the Libyan capital on Thursday, the latest in a series of attacks on foreign targets in the North African country.

Security sources said the attackers drove up to the compound, which houses both the United Arab Emirates Embassy and ambassador's residence, in the Siahia neighborhood in western Tripoli before fleeing.

"I heard a loud explosion so I went outside. I then saw a hole in the building," neighbor Khaled al-Zintani said.

Local residents said the ambassador's residence appeared to have been hit during the early-morning assault. He was believed to be out of the country. No injuries were reported.

There has been a spate of bombings in recent months in Libya which have mainly targeted Western diplomats and missions, though the Tunisian Consulate has also been attacked.

On Tuesday, a rocket struck a residential building in Tripoli close to a major hotel, the Corinthia, used frequently by foreign businessmen and government officials, as well as a tower housing several embassies.

Interior Minister Mohammed Khalifa al-Sheikh said the rocket may have been aimed at the Corinthia.

In April, the French Embassy in Tripoli was bombed, while in the volatile eastern city of Benghazi, four Americans - including the ambassador - were killed on September 11 last year.

Armed violence and lawlessness caused in part by militia groups who often do as they please has hobbled governance in wide areas of the oil-producing North African state following the 2011 war that ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi.